Betting It All on a Spin

Betting It All on a Spin

Imagine getting the idea one day to sell everything
you own, take the money to Las Vegas, and
bet it all on a single spin of the roulette
It sounds crazy.
The risk of losing is very real, and you could
very well be walking away with just the clothes
on your back.
In fact, the chance of winning in an all-or-nothing
red/black bet on an American roulette wheel
is 47.3% (48.6% if playing on a European wheel).
Ashley Revell of the United Kingdom decided
to take that risk when he sold everything
he owned and bet the resulting £76,840 (about
£105,400 or $164,286 today) on red in Las
Vegas during April of 2004.
Thirty-two year old Ashley Revell’s journey
to risking his life savings in Vegas began,
by his own admission, over drinks in a pub
with friends.
One friend brought up the idea of betting
everything on a single spin of the roulette
wheel, and the slightly inebriated group agreed
it sounded like a good idea.
Despite the conversation being alcohol induced,
the next day, the idea still stuck out in
his mind.
He later told the Telegraph, “I thought
what an amazing experience it [betting all
of his money] would be.
At the time I wasn’t married, I didn’t
have kids.
I was completely single.
It was now or never.”
It should not be surprising that not everybody
supported his plan, and both of his parents
opposed the idea.
Revell’s father, Mick, told his son that
he was a “naught boy”, that he shouldn’t
go through with it, and “He should work
like all the other kids do.”
Ashley spent time convincing them to support
him in the endeavor.
His father caved first, but his mother took
a bit more persuasion before agreeing to support
her son.
So he took the next step and began selling
all of his possessions and raising a bit of
extra cash any way he could.
His BMW car, a Rolex watch, golf clubs, and
even sentimental items were either sold at
auction or during boot (trunk) sales.
Some items were harder for him to part with
than others, especially soccer trophies and
a cricket jumper he received while playing
in high school.
Afterwards, Revell admitted he regretted selling
those items.
Eventually a television crew from the British
TV channel Sky One heard about his plan and
created a TV mini-series titled Double or
Tallying it all up, after selling everything
and acquiring funds from other sources such
as being sponsored to change his name to “Ashley
Blue Square Revell” by a UK online bookmaker,
he managed to compile a very respectable total
of £76,840.
With the money in the bank ready to be wired
over, he boarded a flight for Las Vegas with
the camera crew, his friends, and parents
in tow.
He didn’t even technically have the clothes
on his back at this point as what he was wearing
was a tuxedo he rented specifically for the
Plans to place the bet at the Hard Rock Hotel
fell through after negotiations broke down
with the casino.
However, the owners of the Plaza Hotel and
Casino seized the opportunity for publicity
and agreed to host the roulette game, though
directly before he placed his bet told him
that they did not advise that anyone, including
him, go through with something like this.
Despite the risk, the night before making
the life-changing bet, Revell slept well and
later said did not doubt his decision to go
through with it.
Despite the odds technically being slightly
against him, he stated, “Thinking back it
seems crazy but I was so convinced I was going
to win.
I was literally going down there to collect
my winnings.”
However, he still had not decided the answer
to an important question: would he bet everything
on black or on red?
He waited most of the morning for a sign telling
him which to choose but none came.
In the end, according to Revell, directly
after the ball began to spin, “The first
thing that came into my head was red, so I
just pushed all my chips forward.”
With many family and friends there with him
watching, along with the audience of Sky One‘s
show back home, the ball circled the board
before landing on a number- seven, a red color.
Revell had doubled his money on one spin,
giving him £153,680 (about £210,800 or $328,572
He admitted after the experience that, “… it
was a mad thing to do.
And I’m thinking back now about what would
have happened if I lost.
I’d have had nothing to go back to, nothing
to wear.
But I’d still have my friends, my family,
and they’d always be there for me.
So they gave me the security to be able to
do this.”
Unlike most who win big in gambling, Ashley
decided that tempting fate once was enough
for him.
He declined to bet a second time and cashed
in his chips at the table and walked away.
As for what happened after, Revell spent a
small portion of his winnings on a motorcycle
trip around Europe, where he met a girl while
in Holland.
“I took her back to England with me, we
married and now we’ve got two children.
You could say I have my bet to thank for finding
me a wife.

One of the many viewers who watched Ashley
Revell on the Sky One television program was
Simon Cowell.
Cowell was inspired by Revell’s all or nothing
bet to
the television game show
called Red or Black.

100 thoughts on “Betting It All on a Spin”

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  2. Pretty stupid tbh…I mean he probably comes from a well off family to do this from the start considering he was relying on his family to look out for him in case he lost it all…

  3. ho come on, the casino rigged it so he would win.
    having him winning on TV would have been great publicity for the casino, had he lost it would have been a reminder for people how life devastating gambling can be, I have no doubt the casino staged his victory.

  4. He did the right thing and quit. The house advantage would eventually take all of his money even if he was betting much smaller amounts. Casino manager once told me that they didn't care how much somebody one just as long as they could keep them at the table they most assuredly would lose it back. This is why casinos hire mathematicians.

  5. I have an urge to do something like this, but I would lose, I know I would. Plus I have two Daughters, it wouldn't be fair on them.

  6. They either fear their fate too much or their desserts are small, who fear to put it to the touch to win or lose it all.

  7. Very good ending to what could have been a financial punch to the face! Great video, Simon and crew. Keep 'em rolling!

  8. 2:18 "Sold his BMW and golf clubs". Well, that's what every average Joe has in possession before even gets to work.
    So, even if he lost, his parents would have provided the same that he had before. So much for a "risk"…

  9. I was in Vegas in 2008 for four nights, staying in the Hilton. On the morning we were checking out, we still hadn't gambled at all, but I couldn't end my first visit to Vegas without at least blowing a little cash at the tables. With my wife's permission, I took some cash to the lowest bid roulette table. It was 10am and the casino was basically empty. I had the table to myself. I put $10 on each of #5 and #19, black, a set of numbers and one other I've forgotten about for a $50 total bet. The guy spins the roulette wheel, the ball nice around and lands in 19!!! The guy looks at me and says "I gotta get my supervisor." I won $370 from that, plus a little more from the other bets. My wife grabbed the $370 and cashed it in, while I spun the wheel two or three more times until I was out of whatever extra I had.

    Great day.

  10. Would have had far better odds splitting the bet in half and playing the two of the dozens. It pays the same as colors and instead of a 47% chance, you have a 63% chance of doubling your money…

  11. "I have my bet to thank for finding me a wife"
    Words of wisdom right there.
    Made laugh harder than it should tho.

  12. If at 32 he owned a Rolex and a BMW etc., he probably already had a lucrative career, plus it's a safe bet that his parents were pretty well off to begin with. A fun stunt, but not that big of a risk in the grand scheme of things. Thanks for the video.

  13. Here's the TV video of him actually doing it and the dealer explaining and warning him. (spoiler, he wins)

  14. "daily essential clothing" pretentious cunts, what's wrong with underwear, what is the world coming to when people try to sell to men with shit they entrap women with, I think they are telling us they assume men are as dumb as women, "72 out of 143 men said they were fantastic".

  15. One lucky guy to win it all in a roulette…he was more blessed upon finding a wife later and then had two kids.

  16. Reminds me of that episode of Futurama where Dr. Zoidberg finds a couple hundred thousand dollars in a briefcase stashed by the robot mafia, he takes the cash to a casino and bets it all on one spin at the roulette table. Lela, horrified by Ziodberg's sudden and ill informed decision shouts: "Zoidberg, what are you doing?!" to which he responds "I'm not sure…I think its called roulette?" He wins the first spin, netting him a few billion dollars, then decides to let the money ride. He wins again, making him a trillionaire, and decides to let it ride again. He then loses all the money on that final spin, and spends the rest of the episode being hounded by the robot mafia looking for their cash. Gotta know when to walk away folks.

  17. There’s an obvious reason at 32 years old, your entire life with everything you own is only valued at 100k. That’s honestly incredibly sad if you think about it.

  18. He sold his rolex and mercedes. sounds to me like he would have fallen back on his family again if he'd have lost. spoiled idiot.

  19. I remember when this happened! I admired his guts, but figured it was foolish. It worked out, so great story. Even if he lost it would be a good story, so long as he could build a new life afterwards.

  20. Actually SKY one viewers picked RED by telephone/text vote. He had picked BLACK, but decided to go with the viewers choice at the last minute.
    (Watched the show at the time)

  21. The main vegas casinos refused to take the bet as it would be bad for business if he lost.
    They had to find an 'old school' slightly less corporate one to take the bet.

  22. BMW,Rolex….the kid wasn't hurting for money and his parents had his back.Total b.s. and very irresponsible to suggest gambling pays off.

  23. 30 percent capital gains tax. so he didn't double his money he gained by 2 thirds. nice but not enough to retire on

  24. There's just one thing that I don't get. Why did mister Revell choose to play on an American roulette table, instead of a European table? My reasoning for this question is, when you intent to risk everything that you own on the color red on a roulette wheel, shouldn't you than, at least, choose the table where your chances on winning are, statisticly spoken, most favourable (even if that chance only increases by a mere 1.3%, I would have?!).

  25. The really crazy thing is there are probably people who have bet more than this in Vegas… they just string it out over years of bets which pretty much guarantees that they lose to the house.

  26. The dumb part it if you sell your stuff for less then 50% of it will cost to rebuy it when you win then it's a waste

  27. woah thats beautiful, to have enough friends and family to be confident to stake your entire worth because u know if u lose that you still have them

  28. It’s kind of like shooting yourself in the head to eliminate OCD, you’re more likely to end up dead, but one person in the world happens to have actually accomplished it.

  29. he most likely would have made a little money back through a book and other ventures, I don't think he would have been completely broke for too long.

  30. I Find the "show" and it WAS a show, to be believable. The plaza would have know that they would get coverage without paying and if he won there would almost certainly be many fock going to the casino. I don't have any data but it would be interesting if they had a bigger foot-fall after the event. I bet they did.

  31. Fun gambling bonus fact: A classic, and very famous, example of gambler’s fallacy occurred at the Monte-Carlo on August 18, 1913, netting the casino millions of francs in a very short period of time. What happened? One of the Monte-Carlo’s roulette tables came up black a remarkable 26 times in a row. People quickly noticed the streak and began betting large sums on red, falsely believing that the more times black came up in a row, the more likely red was to be the next spin. This compounded on itself the more times black came up, with more and more gamblers convinced this somehow had a bearing on the next spin, reportedly ruining many a gambler during the streak.

    And thanks again to Mac Weldon for sponsoring this episode: PROMO CODE: brainfood

  32. And I bet, being British, he didn't give the dealer a tip! He should have played it on a hand of baccarat instead. Much better odds.

  33. Friend and I stopped at a roulette wheel on our way out the door. We each had $20 left so one of us placed it on black and the other on red, thinking one of us was going to double our money. Came up green. lol

  34. When i 1st heard this story awhile back i thought it was an interesting idea.
    Over 2 months i had saved up $1000 and went to the casino with the money, the whole way up there thats all i thought about, red or black.
    I walked in and the 1st roulette table i saw i put all the $ on red and won.
    It was great cause if i lost i probly would've passed out, my heart was beating outta my chest.
    Idk how that man bet all that $ i wouldn't be able to

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